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Editor’s comment July 2014

PUBLISHED: 17:29 20 June 2014 | UPDATED: 17:38 20 June 2014

Cotswold Life magazine's editor, Mike Lowe

Cotswold Life magazine's editor, Mike Lowe

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Cotswold Life’s Editor Mike Lowe comes bearing grave news about our new national pastime, but some better news for those looking for a bite to eat.

"The reason the Cornish have been given minority status is& well, to be absolutely honest, nobody has the faintest idea!" said Adam Edwards"The reason the Cornish have been given minority status is& well, to be absolutely honest, nobody has the faintest idea!" said Adam Edwards

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I come bearing grave news. We might be in the middle of the World Cup tournament, but I can inform you that football is no longer this country’s favourite pastime. Our new national sport is now ‘Taking Offence’.

I know this because we appear to have upset the Cornish. Well, when I say ‘we’, I mean Adam Edwards, our resident curmudgeonly columnist. In his light-hearted opinion piece last month (note the use of the words ‘light-hearted’ and ‘opinion’) he made some less than complimentary comments about the decision of the government to award Cornwall ‘minority status’ under the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The cause of his disgruntlement seems to be that this is a pointless exercise that could equally be applied to Yorkshire, Norfolk or even the Cotswolds.

So the magazine came out and... nothing happened. And nothing continued happening for another three weeks – until someone from those parts happened upon the ‘offending’ words and the complaints began. Now I know exactly what’s to blame for this – social media; Twitter and Facebook. You can see it every day, particularly among the liberal left luvvies who spend all day stroking one another’s digital egos. Someone will ‘Take Offence’ at a comment in the news and then the Twittermob will pile onto the outrage bandwagon. Some professional irritants, like Katie Hopkins, have made a successful media career out of upsetting the Twitteratti.

And you can tell when this happens because, as with the Cornish contingent filling my inbox, the successive complaints all contain many of the same words. Things like “utterly shocked”, “disgusted”, denigratory”, “abject apology” and “immediate resignation”.

Now as it happens, I quite like Cornwall. I spent an enjoyable spell at Falmouth School of Art and even more time enjoying the sybaritic delights of St Mawes. However, at the risk of the Kernow Republican Army pushing explosive pasties through my letterbox, I would suggest that a more developed sense of perspective might be desirable on this occasion. No offence, like.

An app for your appetite

It’s a perennial conversation in most households: “Let’s go out for a meal tonight, but where? It would be nice to try something different.”

I think we all have our own short list of reliable pubs and restaurants where we know what we’re going to get – the kind of places where we’d take visitors or relatives safe in the knowledge that we won’t be let down. Consistency, of course, is king when it comes to catering. But what do we do when we want to branch out a little? Is a previously unvisited venue too much of an expensive risk?

Now I wouldn’t normally dabble in grubby commercial affairs in this haven of editorial sanctity, but I do think that we can now offer a solution to that problem. Our new food and drink initiative, The Menu, is a print and digital service that means that you’ll never again run short of recommended places to eat and drink in the Cotswolds. You can find more details of Page 221. Explore and enjoy.

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This article by Mike Lowe is from the July 2014 issue of Cotswold Life.

For more from Mike, follow him on Twitter: @cotslifeeditor

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